Kiwi Gold and Two Silvers on Day One of the ISA Worlds
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 3 September, 2017 - The New Zealand Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Team have secured a gold and two silvers on the first day of the 2017 ISA World Championships being held in Denmark this week.
World number one ranked Annabel Anderson (Queenstown) lived up to expectations taking gold in the Women’s Stand Up Paddleboard Distance Race. Prone Paddleboarders Sam Shergold (Mnt) and Jessica Miller (Gold Coast) claimed silver in their respective distance races.
The results have given New Zealand an ideal start to the event sitting inside the top five teams at the event.
Anderson’s emphatic win was the biggest of all races on the first day putting over two minutes on her opponents despite a less than desirable build up which saw all of her equipment lost in transit.
Anderson had to compete on a borrowed board with her paddles only turning up hours before the race.
“I’ve been in a lot of competition and pressure situations where things have gone really wrong and are far from ideal. I knew that if I could rally gear, I had some bullets to fire if I could make the start. So that is all I worried about, the stuff I could control and getting the job done regardless of the situation” said Anderson of her predicament.
On borrowed gear, Anderson used the first of four laps as a recce and to figure out her board and where the other girls were at before putting on a couple of surges then finding some boat wake to extend a lead on her opponents.
“From that point on, I took it up a gear and extended every lap winning by about two minutes” said Anderson.
She will now refocus on the sprint races scheduled for day two as well as repairing her race boards that have now arrived in an un-useable state.
Mount Maunganui’s Sam Shergold battled it out with Australian Lachie Landsdown in the first of two tight races on the prone paddleboards, missing out on a title defence through a photo finish.
“It was a good dash to the finish and once we crossed the line, both of us didn't know who had got it” said Shergold who, after four laps of duelling with the Australian had to settle for second.
“The first lap, Lachie and myself worked together to put a gap on the rest of the field so we could battle it out. Laps 2-3 were about doing a bit of testing of each other, seeing where we could make a move how each other reacted. The fourth lap the pace was on, easily the fastest lap of the race.
“Copenhagen is a beautiful city and it was a privilege to race in the waters and in front of a vibrant crowd and the queen who was in”.
Shergold will contest the shorter technical race later in the week in place of Cory Taylor who had to pull out of the event due to injury.
“I now have an opportunity to redeem myself and get one back on those Aussies” stated Shergold.
The second tight race of the day also went to the Australian’s over New Zealand, this time Jordan Mercer getting the better of Jessica Miller (Gold Coast based) by a mere 30cm in the Women’s Prone Paddleboard Distance Race.
“Jordy ended up having the inside line around the last buoy which we both were after then the last 100m was just about who had enough left in the tank” said Miller.
“Going around the last buoy she gained about a board length on me but I pulled her in and ended up coming second by that narrow margin” she added.
“The atmosphere was pumping for the athletes in the races with the four 5km laps that we raced. Competing in a city like Copenhagen is unreal and is an unforgettable experience especially racing throughout canals surrounded by old buildings.
Three additional Kiwi athletes were also competing on the first day of the event. Trevor Tunnington (Gold Coast based) and Marcus Hansen (Whangarei) finished the Men’s Stand Up Paddleboard Race in tenth and eleventh respectively. The men’s race was loaded with top international talent that saw the winners crossing the line just under five minutes ahead of the Kiwis.
Tunnington will be back in action on the second day of the event in the sprint races as well as contesting the SUP surfing later in the week.
Penelope Strickland (Auckland) also contested the women’s distance race finishing 17th. Strickland will now turn her attention to the technical races in a bid to defend her title.
Australia is defending champions from 2016 where New Zealand finished third. The 2017 event has attracted a record 42 nations and 286 athletes.